Pond to Table Cooking at Alumni Weekend, 2016

by Holly Buchanan

 

During Alumni Weekend we found a bumper crop of wild cranberries surrounding Hidden Pond! Several groups went picking, and then Betsy Huffman and I made cranberry bread for dessert on Saturday night in Alford Hall after a robust meal of spaghetti and meatballs, broccoli, garlic bread, and a fully-loaded salad bar. Making cranberry bread is a simple procedure, but at camp everything becomes an adventure! Below is the recipe we used, along with notes on our adventure. If you can’t get out to Hidden Pond to pick your own delicious little rubies you can of course just run to the grocery store.

This recipe is for one regular loaf, but we multiplied it by 5 to feed alumni after a big day of hiking, crafts, ultimate Frisbee, canoeing, etc.

 

Hidden Pond Cranberry Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Keny Garcia helped us figure out how to control the oven—he hasn’t been the chef at CLC for years, but some things never change.

Grease one 8 1/2×4 1/2-inch loaf pan.  We couldn’t find 5 loaf pans, so we made muffins instead. Worked out fine.

Combine in a large bowl:

  • 2 c flour
  • ¾ c sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

We couldn’t find any measuring spoons in the kitchen, so Betsy just eye-balled the amounts. She is talented and fearless! It worked out just fine.

Cut ¼ c butter into the flour mixture.  If you have ever worked in the CLC kitchen, you know there are always lots of odd little chunks of butter in the walk-in. We just used those. Betsy thought cutting in the butter was a big bother—we decided we should have just used oil instead.

Stir in:

  • ¾ c OJ—we used OJ left over from a hearty breakfast of CLC french toast, cereal, and fruit.
  • 1 c Hidden Pond cranberries— to wash them, fill a big bowl with water. Scoop off the berries that float and throw away all the twigs and leaves in the water. Do this a couple times, bearing in mind that a leaf or two baked in a muffin never hurt anybody. Then we chopped the berries in the food processor.
  • 1 egg
  • A splash of vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest–this was tricky. Finally found an old orange in the fridge in Laughlin Lodges. The inside was nasty but the peel worked just fine.
  • 1 c chopped walnuts–we appropriated these from the salad bar.

Scoop into greased pans or muffin tins and bake. Joy Reges lovingly prepped the muffin tins but then, well, we got a little distracted (not a surprise in the CLC kitchen—we were having fun!) and sort of forgot to time the muffins. We took them out a couple of times, stuck a sharp knife blade in, and then put them back in the oven when the knife came out gooey. But finally the muffins were a wonderful golden brown and the knife came out clean. We put the muffins on green CLC platters and served them for dessert. They were a big hit!

Later some former counselors were seen slipping into the kitchen for seconds. Marissa Bunting and Ryan Hichens might know more about that, if you are interested.

 

Hidden Pond Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce

New Alumni Board vice-chair Todd Hutchinson helped pick cranberries and then whipped up some cranberry sauce for the Sunday night CLC Thanksgiving meal. His sauce was a lighter pink and much tastier than canned sauce!

To make it, Todd washed the berries, covered them with water and a bit of OJ in a saucepan, and then boiled them until the berries popped open. Then he added sugar and kept boiling. After some taste-testing among the kitchen folk, one of whom found the sauce severely mouth-puckering, he added more sugar. Perfection!

The cranberry sauce was also delicious the next morning as jam on toast and pancakes. A winner!